Haldon Gold Cup winner God’s Own is set for his fourth shot at the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham at the Festival in March, where connections will be hoping their horse builds on his recent win at Exeter.
Tom George’s runner produced one of his best performances from the last couple of years at the Devon racecourse when he defeated a strong field for the Grade One contest over 2m1f. Ridden by his regular pilot Paddy Brennan, the pair tracked the leaders in the early stages before making their charge with two fences to go. Jumping the last, the ten-year-old was neck and neck with Ozzie The Oscar but the older horse just found more than his rival in the run-in to the finish line.
God’s Own may feature just once more before Cheltenham and if he goes the same route as he did in the 2017/18 campaign, that will see him appear in a Listed race at Kempton in January. Two of the horse’s last four wins have come at Exeter so connections will be hoping he can find the same kind of form that he so often does at the Haldon racecourse.
The bookmakers make God’s Own a 33/1 shot for the Champion Chase but if he follows up his Exeter win with another success next time out, those odds are likely to be slashed ahead of the biggest meeting of the year in national hunt racing.
Altior Bidding for Champion Chase Defence In March
Altior has been the star name in the 2m chase division over the last couple of years and he cemented that view with an emphatic victory in the Champion Chase at the Festival where he prevailed by seven lengths to justify going off as the odds-on favourite.
Many people will see Altior as one of the best horse racing bets at 11/8 for a repeat success when he returns for the leading 2m chase race of the season next year. Nicky Henderson’s runner is on a winning stretch of 14 races which goes all the way back to October 2015 and as long as he stays injury-free in the campaign, that number could go up considerably.
Altior is likely to make his return to action in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown next month. The eight-year-old won that race in 2016 but was unable to participate last December as he was recovering from wind surgery. The Esher track has many happy memories for the superstar chaser as he also won there on his last outing in the Celebration Chase back in April.
If the reigning champion does succeed again at Cheltenham in March, he will become the first back-to-back winner of the feature race on day two of the meeting since Sprinter Sacre was victorious in 2009. Altior is also bidding for his fourth Festival win as he claimed the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2016 and the Arkle Trophy in 2017.
The Cheltenham Festival begins on the 13th March in 2019 and will run through to the 16th March, with the Cheltenham Gold Cup taking centre stage on the final day of the meeting.